Komotini


Komotini

Infobox Greek Dimos
name = Komotini
name_local = Κομοτηνή
periph = East Macedonia and Thrace
prefec = Rhodope
population = 52659
population_as_of = 2001
area = 385.386
elevation = 45
lat_deg = 41
lat_min = 6
lon_deg = 25
lon_min = 25
postal_code = 691 00
area_code = 25310
licence = ΚΟ
mayor = Dimitrios Kotsakis
website = [http://www.komotini.gr www.komotini.gr]


caption_skyline =
city_

city_

districts = 7
party =
since =
elevation_min =
elevation_max =

Komotini or Komotene ( _el. Κομοτηνή; _tr. Gümülcine), is a city in north-eastern Greece. It is the capital of the periphery of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace and the Rhodope Prefecture. It is also the administrative center of the Rhodope-Evros super-prefecture. The city is home to the Democritus University of Thrace, founded in 1973. Komotini is home to a sizeable Turkish-speaking minority, which constitutes 50% of the city's population [cite journal | last = Demetriou| first = Olga| year = 2006| month =May| title = Streets Not Named: Discursive Dead Ends and the Politicsof Orientation in Intercommunal Spatial Relations in Northern Greece
journal =Cultural Anthropoplogy | volume = 21| issue = 2| pages =295–321| doi =10.1525/can.2006.21.2.295| accessdate =
]

Geography

The city stands at an altitude of 32-38m on the Thracian plain near the foothills of the Rhodope Mountains. There is little urban planning in the older parts of city, in contrast to more recently developed quarters. According to the 2001 census, the city's population amounts to 52,659, a number that does not include approximately 13,000 resident students, trainees and soldiers. There are two airports near Komotini. The nearest is in Alexandroupoli (65km), and the other is in Kavala (110km). It has good rail and bus links to all continental Greek cities as well as Istanbul, and the good provincial road network has been supplemented by the new Egnatia Motorway.

History

Eastern Roman/Byzantine Era

The city's history is closely connected with that of Via Egnatia, the Roman trunk road which connected Dyrrhachium with Constantinople. The Roman emperor Theodosius I built a small rectilinear fortress on the road at a junction with a route leading north across the Rhodope Mountains toward Philippopolis. For most of its early existence the settlement was overshadowed by the larger town of Mosynopolis to the west, and by the end of the 12th century, the place had been completely abandoned. In 1207 following the destruction of Mosynopolis by the Bulgarian tsar Kaloyan, the remnant population fled and established themselves within the walls of the abandoned fortress. John Kantakouzenos mentions the place for the first time under the name "Koumoutsinas" in his account of the Byzantine civil war of the early 14th century. [ cite journal | last = Kiel| first = Machiel| year=1971| title = Observations on the History of Northern Greece during the Turkish Rule: Historical and Architectural Description of the Turkish Monuments of Komotini and Serres, their place in the Development of Ottoman Turkish Architecture and their Present Condition| journal =Balkan Studies | volume =12| pages = 417]

Ottoman Era

In the Ottoman Era, Komotini was known as "Gümülcine". Its historical population has included Greeks, Turks, Jews, Armenians, Bulgarians and Pomaks. The city continued to be an important hub connecting the capital city of Constantinople with the European part of the Empire, and grew accordingly. Many monuments in the city today date to this era.

First Balkan War

During the first Balkan War, Bulgarian forces captured the city, only to surrender it to the Greek army during the second Balkan War on July 14, 1913. The Treaty of Bucharest, however, handed the city back to Bulgaria. Despite various schemes by Greek inhabitants to avoid Bulgarian occupation, the city was part of Bulgaria until the end of World War I. In this period, a short-lived independent state, the Republic of Gumuljina, was established in Western Thrace. Komotini, was declared as capital city of that state. In 1919, in the Treaty of Neuilly, Komotini was handed back to Greece, along with the rest of Western Thrace.

Modern Komotini

At the heart of the city lie the evergreen Central Park of Agia Paraskevi and the 15 m-high WW2 Heroes' Memorial, locally known as 'The Sword'. The revamped Central square or "Plateia Irinis" (Square of Peace) is the focus of a vibrant nightlife boosted by the huge number of students living in the city. The Old commercial centre is very popular with tourists as it houses traditional shops and workshops that have long vanished from other Greek cities. In addition, in the northwestern outskirts of the city (Nea Mosinoupoli) locals and tourists alike flock into a modern shopping mall: Kosmopolis Park, which houses department stores, shops, supermarkets, a cinema complex, cafés and restaurants.

Southwest of the central square one can find the Open-air Municipal Theatre, which hosts many cultural shows and events such as the cultural summer (πολιτιστικό καλοκαίρι = "politistiko kalokairi"). There is a Regional Theatre (DIPETHE) whose company produces many plays all year round. Komotini has several museums including the Archaeological, Byzantine and Folklore museums. 6 km NE of Komotini is the Nymfaia forest. It has recreational facilities which comprise trails, courts, playgrounds and space for environmental studies. The forest is divided by a paved road which leads to the Byzantine fortress and the historical fort of Nymfaia.

The population is quite multilingual for a city of this size and it is made up of local Greeks, Greek refugees from Asia Minor and eastern Thrace, Greek Muslims, Turks, Pomaks, Roma, descendants of Armenian refugees, and recent refugees, including Greeks, from the countries of the former USSR (mainly Georgia, Armenia, Russia and Kazakhstan).

Municipal Districts

;Central:Historic Commercial Centre, Plaka, Armenio ;West:Nea Mosinoupoli, Remvi;South-West:Kavakliotika, Stathmos, Ergatika Stathmou, Ergatika DEI ;South:Zimvrakaki ;South-East:Agios Stylianos;East:Neoktista ;North:Agia Varvara/Stratones

uburbs

*"Komotini Industrial Zone" (SE, 9km from City centre), with dozens of factories and an environmentally friendly natural gas-fuelled power plant.
*"Panepistimioupoli"/Democritus University Campus (NW,3km from City Centre) home of D.U.TH.
*"Ifaistos" (NW,adjacent to Nea Mosinoupoli), home of a large Roma community
*"Roditis" (SE,5km from City Centre), residential area with upmarket properties
*"Karidia" (NE,4km from City Centre), residential area with upmarket properties
*"Kosmio" (S,3km from City Centre), residential area
*"Thrilorio" (SE,8km from City Centre), residential area
*"Ampelokipoi" (SE,2km from City Centre), residential area
*"Kikidio" (SE,2km from City Centre), mixed residential-business area
*"Ifantes" (W, 2km from City Centre), mixed residential-business area

Education

There are more than adequate primary and secondary education facilities in the city. There are around 20 primary schools, 7 "gymnasia" (junior high schools) and 4 "lykeia" (high schools) as well as a large secondary technical education institute ("TEE").

Komotini is an established university city in the North of Greece known for its high standard of education and the unique and unforgetable 'Komotini student experience'. It is home to the Central Administration and several departments of the Democritus University of Thrace including the following:

- [http://www.law.duth.gr/ Law School] ,

- [http://www.ierd.duth.gr/ International Economic Relations and Development Department] ,

- [http://www.phyed.duth.gr/flash.aspx/ Physical Education and Sport Sciences] ,

- [http://www.he.duth.gr/ History and Ethnology] ,

- [http://www.helit.duth.gr/ Greek Literature] ,

- [http://www.socadm.duth.gr/ Social Administration] ,

- [http://www.ierd.duth.gr/ International Financial Relations and Development] ,

- [http://www.bscc.duth.gr/ Languages, Literature and Civilization of Black Sea countries] .

The Komotini campus has a dynamic population of approximately 5-10.000 students and a major part of social life evolves around it. The founding of the University of Thrace in 1973 has had a significant positive influence on the entire urban area fuelling the city's expansion and growth.

The Police Academy is located 7 km from Komotini on the road to Xanthi on extensive grounds and with modern facilities.

Media

Television

The main television station based in Komotini is R Channel although other stations broadcast from the city, namely Delta from neighbouring Alexandroupoli and ET3 (the northern branch of the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation) from Thessaloniki.

Radio

There are dozens of stations one can tune into. Some are broadcast from neighbouring towns and others are from Athens. The main Radio Stations broadcasting from Komotini are:

*ERA Komotinis (part of the national ERA network, greatest coverage area in N. Greece)
*Diavlos Rodopis
*Hit FM
*Radio Hronos
*Radio Paratiritis
*Radio Komotini
*Isik FM
*Radio City

Press

There has been increasing activity in this sector for the last 50 years. There are now 7 daily and 2 weekly active newspapers in the city.

*O Hronos (The Time): Oldest, most popular, politics and news based content
*Paratiritis tis Thrakis (Observer of Thrace): Multilingual (recognised with distinction by the President of The Hellenic Republic for its innovation) politics and culture.
*To Elefthero Vima (Free Standpoint): Politics and culture.
*Thrakiki Agora (Thracian Market): Weekly Politics and Financial news.
*I Paremvasi (Intervention): Politics.
*I Foni tis Rodopis (Voice of Rodopi): Politics.
*Antifonitis (The Opposition): Reactionary Politics, satirical commentary.
*Thrakiki Gi (Thracian Land): Politics and Agricultural News.
*I Patrida (The Homeland): One of the oldest,Politics.

All of the above are paper based. However, there is an increasing volume of news and content that is on the newspapers' websites. The latter can be accessed from the news section of Komotini's commercial portal. [http://www.kom.gr/news]

ports

There is an impressive array of sports facilities available. They include the Municipal Stadium of Komotini (Home of Panthrakikos FC), Panthrakiko Stadium (training grounds), Municipal Sports Complex (NE of the city), Municipal Swimming pool and Basketball Arena, Democritus University Sports Complex including an Arena and an Aquatic Centre as well as Basketball courts in almost every school in the city. The mountainous area in the north of the city is ideal for mountain-biking and trekking as well as 4x4 racing both of which take place throughout the year.

*Panthrakikos F.C. - Football team, promoted to the Greek Superleague during the 2007-2008 season.
*G.A.S. Komotini - Basketball, Football and Swimming teams
*A.E.Komotini - Basketball, Volleyball and Football teams
*Olympiada - Track and Field

Historical population

Notable people

*Katerina Stikoudi (1985) fashion model

ee also

*Rodhopi
*Greek Muslim minority
*Turks of Western Thrace
*Pomaks

References

External links

* [http://www.komotini-polis.gr Komotini's City Portal]
* [http://www.kom.gr Komotini's Commercial Portal]
* [http://www.abttf.com Umbrella organisation of Western Thrace Turks and UN-ECOSOC member: "Federation of Western Thrace Turks in Europe"]


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